VROOM CARAVAN SOFIA

Sofia - May 2019

Startup City Sofia: The Hubs of The New Entrepreneurial Mindset in Bulgaria

Six-seven years ago, the capital city of Bulgaria was not appearing on any startup map. And there is one simple reason – it was not a startup city. However, with as little as a bunch of enthusiasts, €20M that the two early stage investment funds Eleven and Launchub deployed to 200+ projects, the two major co-working spaces that were founded around that time and the first widely known IT exit of Telerik, the environment has started to change its face. It has happened primarily due to private investments and private efforts. With one exception, there are no state-backed startup activities or initiatives that have brought significant results in Bulgaria.

Next level of collaboration

In the past several years the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria has matured significantly. The development of collaborative and coworking spaces is one visible indicator for those processes. There are already different verticals on this market – hubs dedicated to specific sectors and activities such as social entrepreneurship (The NGO House, Coworking by MOVE.BG), IT (Puzl, initLab, Work & Share), creative (Soho, Cosmos, Generator) etc. And there are a lot of organizations working towards the further development of this ecosystem.

The startups ecosystem in Sofia is often referred to as a bubble. And it is one. However, as it matures as a business and knowledge network, more and more entrepreneurs begin to look beyond the pure economic impact their companies create.